Alamgir: sick but vibrantArchive
IN the mid-70s the song Dekha na tha, kabhi hum ne ye saman became an all-time hit on the Pakistan Television. The viewers saw a thin but energetic Alamgir singing this song with full vigour and enthusiasm and with him a woman dancer reciprocating with the same zeal. This song turned out to be a trend-setter for popularising the pop music in Pakistan.
Alamgir had a heavy but mellifluous voice with a tinge of sadness, which was instrumental in making his songs instant hits. He would fill the songs with notes rendered skillfully to the delight of listeners having sound knowledge of the subcontinental semi-classical music. This unconventional fusion of the pop and semi-classical music made Alamgir a unique performer. He sang the title song ‘Mujhay dil se na bhulana’ for the box-office hit movie ‘Aina’, which was picture on actor Nadeem.
It is sad that Almagir is now in distress and has been on dialysis for his failed kidneys for the last six years. However, it is heartening to note that he has kept his morale high and there is no decline in his love for singing and also enjoying it. At present he lives in the US and comes to Pakistan for a few months.
On the evening of May 3 we were fortunate to listen to him at a musical programme arranged at the Marina Club, DHA, by the music organisation Mauseqaar. Almagir sang two of his hit songs from yesteryears ‘Soona soona jeewan apna’ and ‘Sham se pehlay aana’ and Mehdi Hasan’s ‘Pyar bharey do sharmilay nain’. It was a rare treat listening to a singer with strong voice on base notes.
The audience was spellbound with the renditions as Alamgir possessed the same force and vitality in his voice for which he was famous during his peak days. Let us pray for his early recovery.
Alamgir’s resolve to fight the disease should be a morale booster for people suffering from any sickness.
Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015
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